Dear Valued Patient:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and stay safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You'll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.

- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children's toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.

- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you're offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 704-364-9000. 

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. Porter and Team

gingivitis

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, often involving bleeding gums, inflammation, and bad breath.

It can be easily reversed with timely attention from a dentist.

How do I know if I have gingivitis?

gingivitis

Primary Symptoms

Inflammation

When infected, gums may appear red or puffy. This occurs because the accumulation of plaque and tartar begins to irritate the gum tissue.

Bleeding

Once the gums become inflamed, they are more prone to bleeding when brushing or flossing

Bad Breath

Medically referred to as halitosis, bad breath is a common side effect of gingivitis.

Before Treatment, Gum Tissue is Irritated

Some People Are More Likely to Develop Gingivitis Than Others

While gingivitis is common, there are certain risk factors that make you more likely to develop the condition, such as:

  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Genetics
  • Poor-fitting restorations
  • Teeth grinding
  • Certain medications
  • Diabetes
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Compromised immune system

Additionally, pregnant women often experience gum inflammation and irritation due to hormonal changes.

Plaque and Tartar Cause Gums to Become Infected

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a clear, sticky film that forms on the surface of the teeth when bacteria accumulate

23 - Tatrum Molar (Solid)Created with Sketch.

What Is Tartar?

When plaque remains on the teeth, it eventually hardens, becoming tartar. Tartar spurs gum disease by helping bacteria prosper and multiply.

Why Should I Do Something about It?

Without professional attention, gingivitis can escalate to periodontitis, resulting in gum recession and eventual tooth loss.

Nearly Half of American Adults Suffer from Gum Disease

Your Doctor Can Easily Identify Gingivitis

During an examination, your doctor will evaluate your gums and teeth for signs of gingivitis. He or she will also use a special tool to measure the depth of the pockets between your teeth and gums. Pockets of 4mm or deeper may indicate a more advanced stage of gum disease requiring special care.

measuring periodontal pockets

Three Easy Ways To Reduce Your Risk of Gum Disease

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene

You should brush your teeth twice and floss at least once every day. A well-maintained oral hygiene routine can prevent plaque from accumulating. 

Attending Bi-Annual Cleanings & Exams

During your bi-annual checkup, your teeth will be professionally cleaned to remove plaque and tartar. Your doctor will also perform a comprehensive exam to look for any signs of gingivitis.

Avoiding Harmful Habits

Starchy or sugary foods can increase plaque buildup. Additionally, smoking affects your immune system, making your gums more susceptible to infection and less able to overcome it. Quit smoking and maintain a well-balanced diet to reduce your risk. 

"Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care." American Academy of Periodontology

Reversing Gum Disease

When it is detected early, a professional cleaning and improved at-home care can reverse gum disease. In some cases, a deep cleaning may be necessary to reduce the depth of the pockets between the teeth and gum tissue. During a deep cleaning, known as scaling and root planing, the doctor will remove bacteria and tartar along the tooth surfaces and below the gum line. He or she will then smooth the root surfaces to prevent bacterial accumulation in the future and help the gums reattach.

Schedule a Consultation

If you notice that your gums bleed when you brush or floss, or if you have persistent bad breath, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately. He or she can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to protect your oral health.

Dr. Porter

Charles A. Porter III, DDS

Dr. Porter implements the latest developments and highest standards in dentistry. He is a member of several prestigious organizations, including the:

  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • North Carolina Dental Society 

To schedule your consultation, contact our Charlotte office online or call us at (704) 364-9000.

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Charlotte Office

135 S Sharon Amity Rd
Ste 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

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